As of October 2012, localized drought conditions, decreased crop production, and high food prices had resulted in food insecurity in southern Malawi. In September, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) estimated that approximately 1.76 million Malawians across 15 southern districts would likely require humanitarian assistance during the lean season, spanning from November 2012 to March 2013. Due to failed harvests, the majority of families in southern Malawi had depleted household food stocks by July 2012, forcing many to purchase food from local markets at above-average prices, according to FEWS NET. In response, the Government of Malawi committed 25,000 metric tons of grain from its reserve stockpiles for distribution to vulnerable populations and began coordinating with U.N. agencies to develop an appropriate food assistance response.
On October 2, 2012, U.S. Ambassador Jeanine E. Jackson declared a disaster due to the effects of food insecurity in Malawi. In recent years, USAID has supported integrated programming focused on agriculture and food security, nutrition, and livelihoods in southern Malawi.
Last updated: May 10, 2013